Let me start by saying I like David DeCastro and I think he is a safe pick that fills a huge need for us. The consensus I have been seeing with all the mock drafts is the feeling that Decastro will be gone by the time the Cowboys pick at 14th. I don't feel this is the case, so I did a little research.
First I wanted to look at the player who DeCastro reminds many draft experts of as far as being one of the best guard prospects in years and that player is Steve Hutchinson. So I went back and looked at the 2001 draft and Hutchinson was drafted at 17th to Seattle. More then half of the league passed on the sure thing prospect.
So I continued to look at each draft leading up to last year. The results are up until the 2010 draft no interior lineman were taken in the top 20 and a couple drafts had no interior lineman taken in the first round at all. There are players such as Leonard Davis who was taken with the 2nd pick in the draft that at the time was projected to play tackle, but ended up playing both guard and tackle for the Cardinals.
Basically this tells me no matter how good a prospect is if his position is undervalued in the NFL he will be drafted that way. Look at Trent Richardson he is one of the best running back prospects we have seen in years he has the size, speed, and strength to be a force in this league. Yet he is still projected by some to fall to the middle of the first round, due to the fact that teams feel you don't need to draft high to find a good running back. The same can be said about interior lineman, teams value protecting their quarterback's blindside more so they draft tackles higher compared to interior lineman.
There is one flaw in this theory of mines and that is the fact that the last couple of years interior lineman have been going higher and higher in the draft. In 2010 Mike Iupati and Maurkice Pouncey went 17th and 18th, and in 2011 Mike Pouncey went 15th overall. My response to this is unless the Pouncey's have another twin brother, therefore making them triplets we have nothing to worry about. Miami did something no other team had done the previous ten years and that is take an interior lineman in the top 15 of the draft. Miami chose to pick Pouncey, because they saw all the evidence they needed to from his twin brother who had a pro bowl year in his rookie year with the Steelers. These two brothers played we each other all their lives and they attended the same college. Only difference is Mike decided to stay another year and prepare himself more for the NFL, so if I was Miami and I had the chance to pick a possible pro bowler lineman in his rookie year I would make that pick too.
So back to DeCastro I like the guy as a prospect, but as history has showed I have no reason to believe he will go top 10. That leaves us with Kansas City, Seattle, and Arizona picking before us. Kansas City needs a offensive tackle badly, Seattle needs a quarterback and I feel delaying this another year to wait on Barkley could possibly put Pete Carroll's job in danger if this season ends up bad, and lastly we have Arizona who I can see taking DeCastro. Especially if they bring in Manning, there first priority will probably be to get him some protection. Remember what I said about that blindside being a big deal I see them taking a tackle to protect their new quarterbacks neck compared to a guard.
Therefore leaving us DeCastro for the taking. So feel free to comment and tell me why DeCastro is the exception and why we should expect to see him gone by the time Dallas gets on the clock.
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